David Ellefson Announces Free Lessons for Displaced Students
In an incredible act of unity, David Ellefson has announced he’s donating his time to give free music lessons to students displaced from their school activities by COVID 19 restrictions. Ellefson and his musical cohort Thom Hazaert teamed up to create an initiative called #SCHOOLSOUT, which includes a whole roster of artists donating their time for the project. Each musician will give one-on-one mentoring via Skype.
“Everybody’s giving of their time,” Ellefson told USA Today. “These lessons are at no cost. This is all of us just pitching in and donating some of our time in our down cycle right now to help give people some hope and get excited about music. The charitable mind keeps the troubled mind at bay, and with all the stuff going on right now, when we’ve got guitars in our hands and we’re communicating with our fans and students, I think that’s a perfect way to keep all of us out of trouble as well.”
Other bassists participating in #SCHOOLSOUT include Frank Bello of Anthrax, Chris Kael of Five Finger Death Punch, and Ra Diaz of Suicidal Tendencies. The rest of the musicians include Dirk Verbeuren, Kiko Loureiro, Jimmy Degrasso, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Chad Szeliga, Phil Demmel, Dave McCain, Clint Lowery, Nita Strauss, Brandan Schieppatti, Alex Snowden, and Shani Kimelman. The program is open to students 18 and under. Students or guardians can apply via the David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation website, where you can also donate to help the cause.
As if that weren’t enough, Ellefson will be releasing a new single with his solo band with all proceeds going to Italian COVID-19 relief. “We actually wrote the song in Milan during a tour rehearsal, and a lot of it was recorded there,” Ellefson says. “We’ve gone back and forth with Andy in Italy, from the Platinum Underground in Phoenix, and with our mixer and co-engineer Alessio Garavello in London. While we’re all staying positive and just keeping busy, it’s heartbreaking to see what’s going on over there with the death toll climbing every day.”
The song, “Simple Truth,” will be released as a digital download on April 17th with a direct Bandcamp release on April 10th.